Oracle launched its latest spot attack ad this week in its ongoing war with SAP -- and hit a new low in the process. The obviously creativity-challenged Oracle’s ad has a simple message: "CA runs SAP." It’s a swift boat moment for a company whose marketing is so broken it would be funny if it weren’t so pitiful. The implication is hardly subtle: CA, with a history of fraud still to be resolved and having serious problems getting out a clean set of books even today, is in these dire straits because of its enterprise software. Oracle apparently assumes a CEO or CIO reading its new ad would have the following revelation: "Golly gee whiz, no wonder those CA guys are in trouble -- I thought they had some sort of rogue management thing going, but now that I know it was their enterprise software I'm gonna avoid that nasty SAP stuff and get me some scandal free software from Oracle."
Doesn't Oracle have any more respect for the intelligence of its prospective customers? Do they really think this kind of advertising works? Or is even true? Anyone with a search engine could find out in about one Redwood Shores minute that the SAP implementation at CA was started well after all the scandals occurred, and is just now being finished.
To be fair, Oracle does lots of advertising that isn’t of the swift boat variety – they are known to appeal to the brainy side of their prospective customers too. And SAP has been guilty of trying to back up its "The Best Run Companies Run SAP" campaign with some research that purports to actually show a direct correlation between running SAP and being a financially successful company -- a claim that sounds questionable at best.
But trash talk of this magnitude – advertising that belittles customer and vendor alike with a falsehood that is easily refuted – is really beyond the pale. To quote a sad rebuke from a sadder time: ”Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"